Branding by Will Lion

One of the things we see from marketers is following Google's updates too rigorously, changing the SEO route of their business to fit in with Google's algorithmic way of thinking of the day.

This usually means short term gain, long term pain for a few reasons:

  • If you develop an SEO strategy based on existing algorithms it's going to be outdated by the time you've implemented it.
  • Each algorithm has loop holes and "white-hat" (is there such a thing?) SEO exploits these loop holes. With each update, loop holes close up.

Read SEP, SEJ, cram in a few whiteboard Fridays, and implement some strategies -- but remember that your business is so much more than just Google.


If you develop your site for your brand and not your Google rankings, you'll be a lot more successful.

if it's
for branding,
it's good for rankings
Look at the timeline for updates. What Google is "suggesting" to webmasters (more and more so) is that if it's good for branding, it's good for ranking. So, why not just do what is good for your brand from the get-go?

Posting on Ezine Articles, keyword stuffing, keyword-only domain names that put a puzzled look on a consumer's face, or getting 100 .edu links for $10 does not help your brand. Even when some of these tactics were successful for some, ranking-wise, they still ruin brand image.

There are over 644,000,000 websites already; you need to make an impact.

Through branding you can create any image you want in the consumer's mind, allowing them to buy into a lifestyle. Produce an image of authenticity that gives the consumer confidence. It may be hard to create a user experience but once you do you'll retain customers, loyal customers. And keeping customers is cheaper than acquiring them. Better still; they spend 33% more on average!

Being ranked is not good enough; you need to stand out.

Search Google for any type of service company and from the first 10 results, 5-6 use similar layouts, have similar copy, and sell similar services. As a consumer you either:

  • Pick the one that differentiates itself from the rest in a positive way, or
  • Become overwhelmed by the choice and the possibility of being let down; you back out of your search and not a penny is spend.


Marketing is a tool to attract customers. A marketing strategy offers attraction through a user experience.

Focus too much energy on only SEO, conversion optimisation, or visual branding and the user will not come away feeling they gained anything; they probably won't break their piggy bank nor come back.

In terms of SEO and marketing, a strategy that is only traffic focused ("I want to rank #1!!!") has never been a good plan. If a strategy is unlikely to drive TARGETED traffic to your site, it probably isn't helping your business in any way, shape or form.

Build a rounded strategy for your business, not for  Google.